Gold Medal Competition

Uncle Sam

The Olympics are on, and Xianyi and I are engaged in a little friendly national rivalry – we’ve got a $20 bet on who wins more gold medals, the US or China. Guess who I took?

Right now it looks like China’s multi-billion-yuan effort to rack up medals is paying off. I checked in with the NYT medal tracker this morning at work and they were leading all countries with nine gold medals already! And the lowly US with only three. Then I saw that some of those Chinese golds came from the air gun events, and I thought: some golds ought to count more than others.

Last night we watched the Americans win the men’s 400m relay, and it was easily the most exciting swimming race I’ve ever seen. Which I know isn’t saying much, but it was still a thrill. Probably because the backstory was that the French team was talking smack, saying they were going to “smash” the USA… and then that dude – the one who isn’t Michael Phelps – caught up to and just barely surpassed the French guy in the last 25 meters or so. Watching him speed up like that made my eyes widen. That was really something. Even Xianyi was excited.


UPDATE 8-12-08: Interrupted last night. Was making dinner and Jarrett called and Xianyi came home and then I was watching Team USA sweep gold medals up from the bottom of the pool. Phelps easily won the 200m freestyle – by about a length. Aaron Peirsol and Natalie Coughlin took the 100m backstrokes. And now the US has seven golds – but China has eleven. This is going to be closer than I thought.

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